Ndugu Chancler is a man who marches to the beat of his own drum. Recognized not only as a world-class drummer and percussionist, Chancler is a successful producer, composer and educator.
As a studio musician, Ndugu has recorded with such greats as Frank Sinatra, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, John Lee Hooker, Kenny Rogers, and Michael Jackson. Working on “Thriller” and “Bad”, Ndugu was the drummer on the hit single “Billie Jean”. Ndugu has also played on a number of movie soundtracks including, “An Officer and a Gentleman”, “Indecent Proposal” and “The Color Purple”.
As a songwriter, Ndugu co-wrote hits for Santana including “Dance Sister Dance”, for George Duke he wrote ”Reach For It”, and for the Dazz Band he wrote “Let It Whip”. His production credits include Flora Purim, Bill Summers, and Toki; along with his own solo recordings; Ndugu and the Chocolate Jam Co., and Ndugu Chancler. Ndugu has co-produced recordings for Santana, George Duke, The Crusaders, Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Tina Turner, and a group he co-leads with Patrice Rushen, and Ernie Watts, The Meeting. These associations have brought many Gold and Platinum Albums along with Grammy Awards.
As an educator, Ndugu works with the Jazz Mentorship Program, the Thelonious Monk Institute, and is Faculty Advisor to the U.S.C. Jazz Reach, in Los Angeles. Ndugu is also on the Faculty of the Young Musicians Program at Cal Berkeley, Stanford Jazz Workshop, Diaz Music Institute, and Music For All. Ndugu performs clinics all over the world and is an Adjunct Professor of Jazz and Popular Music Studies at The University of Southern California, Flora L. Thornton School of Music.